Walton & Hersham F.C. play in the Isthmian League Division One South. Founded in 1945, they originally played in the Corinthian League, winning it three consecutive times from 1947 to 1949 (a league record). After the dissolution of the Corinthian League, they joined the Athenian League, winning its Premier Division in 1969. However, their biggest highlight is undoubtedly the winning of the FA Amateur Cup in 1973.
Walton & Hersham have been responsible for the upbringing of a number of players who have reached greater heights. Nathan Ellington, for example, currently plays for Watford in the Football League Championship. English football legend Sir Stanley Matthews also spent time at the club as president.
History of Walton & Hersham FC.
The history of the Walton section of the club can be traced back to 1896 when it was founded. It was not until 1926 that Hersham F.C. came into existence. Before the second World War, both clubs played in the Surrey Senior League.
In 1945, after World War II, Walton F.C. amalgamated with Hersham F.C. to form Walton & Hersham. Walton & Hersham F.C. was a founder member of the Corinthian League, winning it first in the 1946–47 season and then again the following two seasons. They won the Surrey Senior Cup in the 1947–48 season.
Walton & Hersham F.C. joined the Athenian League in the 1950–51 season and went on to win the Surrey Senior Cup again.
They reached the FA Amateur Cup semi-finals in 1951–52 and in 1952–53 and achieved their all-time record crowd when ten thousand spectators turned up to watch an FA Amateur Cup tie with Crook Town. The team included defender C. R. "Jack" Neale who represented Great Britain at the Olympics and the club's record goal-scorer Reg Sentance.
Walton & Hersham reached the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in 1957–58. They won the Surrey Senior Cup for a third time in 1960–61 and retained the trophy the following season.
The Athenian League expanded in 1963 and Walton & Hersham F.C. were placed in the Premier Division. A period of mid-table football followed until the 1967 appointment of Allen Batsford as manager heralded a new era of success, when in 1968–69 he won the Athenian League. This was followed by two successive visits to the FA Cup first round proper (in 1969–70 and 1970–71) and the Surrey Senior Cup was won again in 1970–71.
Walton & Hersham were elected to the Isthmian League in 1971.
Success at Wembley Stadium
The 1972–73 season is statistically their greatest ever. They won the Surrey Senior Cup, came runners-up in the league, reached the FA Cup second round proper for the first time and, most prestigiously, won the FA Amateur Cup, defeating Slough Town at Wembley Stadium. They set a unique record by winning the competition without conceding a goal.
The fixture list in the run-up to the cup final was as follows:
First Round: Sutton United (away). 3-0 (Foskett; Morris 2)
Second Round: Leeds & Carnegie (away). 3-0 (Morris; Lambert and Foskett)
Third Round: St. Albans (home). 5-0 (Connell; Somers 2; Lambert and Donaldson)
Fourth Round: Spenymoor (home). 0-0
Replay: Spenymoor (away) 1-0 (Somers)
Semi-Final: Highgate United (Coventry) 0-0
Replay: Highgate United (Crystal Palace) 4-0 (Morris, Woffinden and Connell 2)
Players in the final included Dave Bassett, Willie Smith and Roger Connell later went on to become regulars in the England amateur international team. In 1973–74, the club reached the FA Cup second round proper again, having beaten Brian Clough's Brighton & Hove Albion at Goldstone Ground 4–0. Following the defeat Clough almost got into a fight with comedian Eric Sykes, who was associated with Brighton & Hove Albion at the time and was laughing about the result to a friend during a phone call.
In 1974, Batsford left to manage Wimbledon and took players with him. Walton & Hersham were relegated in 1975 and, although they reached the FA Cup first round proper again in the 1975–76 season, they went close to extinction in the late 70s. They inspired the name of punk band Sham 69 (who formed in 1976), as they derived it from a piece of graffiti which read 'Walton & Hersham 69'. Despite briefly having Sir Stanley Matthews as President, the club endured a lean period throughout the 1980s.
Walton & Hersham F.C. were promoted to the Isthmian top flight in 1994 (and reached the FA Cup first round proper that season, although relegation followed in 1996. They were promoted again the following year but relegation followed again in 2000. After a spell in the Isthmian League First Division, they appointed long-serving player Alan Dowson as manager and he led them to a successful 2004–05 season, with promotion secured as runners-up.
After the resignation of Alan Dowson in October 2006, former Gillingham first-team coach Bobby Paterson took over after a long search for a new manager. Walton & Hersham F.C. were relegated that season and Paterson's contract was terminated. The assistant manager Les Cleevely—the former Carshalton Athletic player/assistant manager for whom he made over 500 appearances—took over. Former Millwall chairman Theo Paphitis became a member of Walton & Hersham's board of directors. After a mid-table finish to the 2007–08 season, Les Cleevely became the academy coach while Jimmy Bolton took over to become the manager. At the beginning of March 2009, Jimmy Bolton was replaced for the rest of the season by Matt Elverson as caretaker manager. During the 2009 off-season, John Crumplin was appointed manager.
Walton Casuals Football Club was formed in 1948 by a group of ex-servicemen and first played in the Surrey Intermediate (Central) League. The team joined the Surrey Senior League in 1969, the same year they moved to their current ground at Franklyn Road.
In 1971 the team switched to the Suburban League and spent the remainder of the decade ground-sharing with neighbours Hampton & Richmond Borough and Addlestone. In 1992 the club joined the Surrey County Premier League followed in 1995 by a step up to the Combined Counties League.
In the 2004-05 season Walton Casuals FC were Combined Counties League champions and were promoted to the Isthmian League. They played one season in Division One before league re-organisation saw them placed in Division One South for the 2006-07 season.
2017 - Walton & Hersham FC relocate from their home ground at Stompond Lane to the Xcel Sports Hub, Waterside Drive in Walton-on-Thames.